Tarragona, destination marked by its Roman past

We cannot talk about Tarragona without talking about its Roman legacy, its superb architectural heritage, its archaeological remains and the historical richness of the ancient Tarraco, now World Heritage Site. This is why Tarragona is today considered as a top cultural and historical destination.

Due to its tourist importance, a large number of high quality hotels in Tarragona, dotted about all over the city, have been opened. There is a wide offer of hotels close to the tourist attractions in Tarragona.

Foto de Wikipedia

We could say that Tarragona is divided into two areas, the high part, where the old quarter and the old Roman Acropolis are situated, and the low part, where we find the picturesque fishing village called El Serrano.

The old Tarraco was in the high part, founded by the Romans, and one of the most important cities of the Mediterranean in the past. The important Roman legacy of monuments are placed there, and its archaeological ensemble was declared World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

Foto de Guia del ocio

Among these archaeological remains, it is worth noting the walls surrounding the old quarter, the old theatre (located outside the walls) and the Roman circus, which preserves the vaults that supported the cavea, placed in Plaça de la Font.

In the old quarter, it is also worth mentioning the Santa Maria Cathedral, for its tourist relevance, and the Cavallers street, main street in the medieval Tarragona. In the outskirts of the city, you must visit the Aqueduct of Tarragona, also declared as Word Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

Rambla Nova is another of the most tourist places in the city, where we can also find hotels right in the centre of Tarragona, ideal for visiting the entire city in comfort.

Foto de Wikipedia

But besides its amazing archaeological ensemble, Tarragona also boasts a series of beautiful fine golden sand beaches. The Tarragona coast offers natural beaches, secluded and not very visited, as well as extensive beaches equipped with all the necessary services.

The most equipped beaches are perfect for travelling with children, such as the city beach. Near to it you can find family hotels in Tarragona equipped with services targeted at this type of public.

Playa Larga is quite recommended, a coastal area not very built-up. Its sand is fine and golden, its waters are quiet and its shore is not very sloping, so it is ideal for swimming.

I also recommend you to visit Playa de la Mora, very natural and lovely.

Kitesurf in Huelva

The Huelva province has 120 kilometres and perfect beaches for kitesurfing. The ideal wind conditions and the quality of beaches have gradually made of Huelva a sought-after destination for those who practise this exciting water sport.

Throughout the Huelva coast, there are at least ten spots (beaches where water sports are practised, such as surfing and windsurfing) where we can kitesurf. Some of the most known spots, thanks to their suitability for this sport, are for example, Isla Canela or Punta del Morral, both in the Ayamonte municipality.

Foto de Andalucía Información

Other beaches also boast good conditions, such as Isla Cristina, La Antilla or Punta Umbría. On windy days, it is very usual to see the beaches sky swarming with kites and the kiters taking off the sea and doing acrobatics in the air. For tourists, it is a real spectacle and, actually, many of them spend long time in the seashore taking pictures of the kiters.

There are even many people that, attracted by this sport, sing up for an introductory course in some of the many schools of these beaches. These courses provide the students with all they need to start this thrilling sport, such as the material, the basics of safety, kite control, etc…

Foto de Faro del Sur

Whether you do kitesurf or not, travelling to Huelva to do this sport is a stupendous experience because, besides good wind and weather conditions, in this province we find beautiful fine golden sand beaches where sailing is just fantastic.

Recommended hotels in Huelva:

–          Sensimar Isla Cristina Palace Hotel

–          Flamero Hotel

–          Dunas de Doñana Golf Resort Hotel

Visit the Orotava Valley

The north of Tenerife offers many possibilities for those looking for a quite place surrounded by exuberant nature to spend the holidays. Puerto de la Cruz is the main tourist area of this part of the island, there are placed most of the hotels of the north of Tenerife and boasts one of the most beautiful and interesting spots: The Orotava Valley.

Also known as Taoro Valley, as named by the guanches -first inhabitants of the island- it is one of the places of Tenerife where the lush and exotic vegetation prevails and where you can discover unique historical remains and enjoy the real essence of the rural life in the Canary Islands. Actually, the valley is full of rural houses that you can visit, some of which have even been turned into top level tourist accommodations.

Elegance Miramar Hotel

Elegance Miramar Hotel

La Orotava town is one of the essential enclaves when you travel to the Taoro Valley. Its old quarter was declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument and offers an incomparable sample of what the essence of Tenerife is. Less exploited than the centre of Puerto de la Cruz, in La Orotava you will find a big botanical garden with exotic plants from South America, Australia, and Africa.

There you will also enjoy the Ibero-American Craft Museum, Las Alfombras Museum in the emblematic Casa de los Balcones, the Sacred Museum of La Concepción, the Pinolere Ethnographic Park with its curious Basket Museum and no end of art centres, historical buildings and squares.

Getting into the western extreme of the valley, you will enjoy a more than interesting gastronomic experience. There is located the small municipality called Icod de los Vinos, where the production of fruits and wine make of this locality a must visit place for those who have a curious palate. Going into La Malvasia Museum is essential to understand the authentic character of this area of Tenerife. If possible, take the opportunity to make a wine tour.

Taoro Valley hides, besides traditional art, cuisine and culture, some of the most beautiful beaches in the north of Tenerife: Bollullo Beach, Los Patos Beach, Ancón Beach… They all almost pristine, with a moderate/heavy swell and a very fine black sand that have made them famous all over the world.

If you stay in some of the beach hotels in Costa Adeje, you will arrive to this area of La Orotava in less than one hour drive. If you have booked a room in Puerto de la Cruz, you will be just 10 minutes away from the centre of La Orotava.

Greece: the magic of Crete

Crete is one of the most emblematic and important islands in Greece as far as tourism, culture and tradition is concerned.  Usual destination for millions of Europeans during the summer, magical island that offers an experience full of Mediterranean essence, exquisite cuisine, paradise beaches, hidden coves, smooth landscape and an artistic and historical heritage only found in a few places.

Travelling to Crete is one of the most interesting options if you are thinking of holidays to Greece with your family. Crete is the largest island of Greece and offers the most complete services for trips with children. The hotels in Crete are well equipped, many of them belong to world renowned chains and are placed in so beautiful places such as Panormo beach or Psalidi beach, both washed by the Aegean Sea.

You can fly from Athens and book a trip by boat to the island or opt for directly flying to Crete (there are many connecting flights that stop in one of the main airports, such as the Nikos Kazantzakis, in Heraklion, which is its capital, or the Ioannis Daskalogiannis airport, in Chania.)

Booking family rooms in Panormo Beach or in Psalidi beach is simple, cheap and comfortable, but there are many other similar areas surrounding the entire coast of Crete. The best option, when you travel with children, is to opt for an accommodation offering all types of services directly related to the hotel, thereby, we avoid unforeseen events or last minute surprises that could complicate the trip.

Once the accommodation is chosen, you only need to prepare your senses and enjoy. Crete is pure Mediterranean: turquoise blues, beige, terracotta, intense greens… The colours of this island will transport you to a magical universe where the relaxation and small pleasures of life get the prominence upstaged by the months of work and routine.

Its dozens of temples and monasteries stand out and, thanks to the intense light of this Greek island, shine in the horizon with its big white mountains (Lefka Ori). Peaceful and quiet destinations ideal for resting and seeing, simply, how time goes by.

But besides the contemplative life, Crete invites to delight the palate. Authentic lifelong flavours, cultivated in its land, are combined in delicious dishes served in traditional pubs of the island: Olive oil, vegetables, honey and yoghurt cakes, nuts and dried fruits, cheeses, fresh salads… Everything made with the maximum care to keep the unique flavour of every element.

Along with the cuisine and beaches, the main attraction of Crete is its historical richness: its wonderful sites, temples and monuments are nowadays almost intact. The Minoan remains are the most popular, there you can admire unique examples and impressive temples such as the Palace of Knossos. Other places with heritage significance are Rethymon, Preveli, Chania (the second city in importance of the island)  Arkadi, Heraklion (the capital).

The most emblematic and remarkable beach areas in Crete is that formed by the Gulf of Mirabello and the beautiful town Agios Nikolaos, example of the seafaring life that fed the people of Crete.

Lively, affable and welcoming, the residents of Crete are very respectful with the visitors and are always willing to guide or recommend places to see and eat. Their lifestyle is relaxed, except in Heraklion, capital full of proposals and a dynamism that contrasts with the rest of the island and the typically Mediterranean quiet character.

IBEROSTAR Creta Panorama & Mare Hotel

IBEROSTAR Creta Panorama & Mare Hotel

Things not to miss in Crete

–         Samaria Gorge: one of the most famous (although there are many others in the island). It is a national park with very interesting hiking routes. You can hike with children in some of them, but it is advisable to organise the route in advance.

–         Loutro: one of the most pristine areas in Crete where there are only roads and the access is by sea.

–         Its pubs: Eat in a traditional pub with background music and try its delicious cheeses with grapes.

–         Neighbouring islands: if you have time, it is worth visiting the other islands near to Crete, some of them completely pristine.

Barceló Hotels: 5 keys of style

Barceló, Spanish hotel group with more than 140 hotels all over the world, is one of those tourism companies that has succeeded in designing a clearly-defined own style. With sober and elegant lines, we can find the essence of Barceló in the wide typology of holiday accommodations offered in 17 different countries.

From luxury hotels in Europe to spa resorts in Fuerteventura, Only Adults hotels in Majorca, accommodations with pets allowed in Jerez or hotels for meetings in Seville, in all of them you perceive an unmistakable  common theme that, from the first moment, makes you aware of being inside of a Barceló Hotel.

After an analysis of the different opinions that guests have expressed after being in one of its hotels around the world, we have gathered some of the keys that shape this style:

Barcelo Corralejo Bay Hotel

Barcelo Corralejo Bay Hotel

1 – Personalized attention: All the hotels nowadays managed by Barceló are,  at least, 4 star, guaranteeing a personalized attention at all times. The professional staff that works in the company is one of the keys that make the difference and receive most of the flatteries by the guests. A plus that reveals the need of betting on well trained staff.

2 – Modernity and comfort: The need of emphasising and connecting both concepts is not trivial, since there are disastrous examples of how a hotel undertakes a complete refurbishment and makes designs where there is no place for rest and relax. Barceló has known how to balance these two essential realities in a hotel: offering modern services, contemporary, detailed and even ground-breaking decor, without giving up the real function of the spaces, and guaranteeing the guests peace and quiet.

3. Brand image: The Barceló’s brand image has been so well received that you feel it in each corner of its hotels. The correct use of a certain range of colours in its diverse hotel lines (urban hotels, Only Adults hotels, beach resorts for families…), adapted  to the different needs, but without missing the essence of the concept on which is based, has made possible this consolidation in the collective imaginary of travellers from all over the world. And the most important, to be associated with safety and quality. A challenge for many.

Barcelo Renacimiento Hotel

Barcelo Renacimiento Hotel

4 – A symbiosis with the destination: The personalization carried out by Barceló hotels is not only perceivable in a guaranteed tailor-made attention. It is noticeable, for example, how the group have made an effort to equip each accommodation with something really characteristic of the destination where the hotel is placed, a common and connecting theme renewing the accommodation.

5 – Taste for the select: Sober, conceptual, minimalist, diaphanous and elegant. The style of the Barceló Hotels bets on these keys to shape an atmosphere where the taste for the select prevails, making the guests feel like they are, really, in a special place, reserved for the most demanding ones. This idea of offering a sense of belonging to a select club is not exclusive of Barceló, it has been applied from time immemorial in first-class hotels, in order to keep the brand linked to that value of quality that generates so many benefits year after year. Doing it well, of course, is not easy and requires considerable investments, but there are always proofs that, in the long run, it is worth it.